We like sports in this house. Football and soccer are one and two, but we will watch some tennis and cycling. And if there’s a sports documentary on, we’re glued to the screen. When the World Cup was in Korea, many years ago, Ryan set his alarm to watch the USA play live in the middle of the night. This past Women’s World Cup, we tumbled out of bed at 4 a.m. to watch the US women lose to Spain.
Twice we’ve watched World Cup games in Spanish (that’s devotion as we don’t speak Spanish). Once we were in a Mexican restaurant, so Spanish television made sense, and once at an Irish pub in Denver, which makes for a great story. We were season ticket holders to the Colorado Rapids for many years until the traffic got too bad to justify the drive down to Commerce City. Back then, we had epic tailgate parties and knew the players. Matt Pickens once made me a drink (that is one for longtime Rapids fans).
By now, you realize this is an article about sports, so if you’re not a fan of sports, you should maybe quit reading. You’ve been warned.
We’re most invested in football. Ryan has played in the same fantasy football league for more than 25 years. I usually play in at least one league, one with friends here in Loveland. Ryan won that league last year and I was runner-up. I swear we were not colluding. Neither of us would want to win that way.
Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I wasn’t a Seahawks fan. I had posters of Jerry Rice and Joe Montana on my walls. Ryan, who grew up in Colorado, is a diehard Broncos fan. In 2016, when the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl, we went to the parade, a highlight of our lives. Ryan would have painted the house orange that year if the HOA (and me) had let him.
This is all to say that we never miss watching the Broncos game, even when we’re on the road. Since both of our birthdays are in the fall, and we almost always travel for our birthdays, we’ve watched a lot of games on the road. We are a little sad when a bye week happens on a birthday weekend because we enjoy incorporating Broncos game-watching into our birthday outing.
Two years ago, Ryan took me to The Rally Hotel and Tom’s Watch Bar for the Broncos game on my birthday weekend.
Once, in 2021, we watched the Denver Broncos play the Las Vegas Raiders while we were in Las Vegas. In fact, the Broncos were playing in the stadium right next to our hotel, Mandalay Bay. However, due to the pandemic, no one was allowed at the game. So, we watched the game in the Mandalay Bay Sports Book along with a bunch of Raiders fans. We lost, but it is a top-notch sports memory.
Being in a Sports Book to watch any football is a good time. I highly recommend this Vegas outing. Plus, Ryan loves to fill out parlay bets so heading to Vegas anytime during football season is extra entertaining.
The fact that we watched the game in Las Vegas with Raiders fans and no Broncos fans, wasn’t a problem. We bonded with the enemy over our love of football, and this is something I’ve experienced time and time again during travel. Sports brings us together.
I can walk into a bar in any part of the country (or out of the country) and connect with fellow football fans (or futbol fans) over our mutual love of the game(s). Once, in Mexico, we watched the Broncos game at an expat-owned bar in Bucerías. He was so happy to have fellow Americans there to watch football with him that he bought us all tequila shots. It was also my 30th birthday so there was mas tequila. We have a more recent travel memory of watching football at an ex-pat-owned bar in San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico. Excellent wings, fun company, and lots of cerveza.
On a long ago trip to Colorado, circa 1999-ish, we picked up a new truck from Ryan’s dad (a lease broker) and drove it back to Washington State. At the time, we were dating and living in Washington State, my home area. While in Colorado, we visited Estes Park.
We went to The Wheel Bar to watch the Broncos game. A group there appeared to watch football together every Sunday, but we were welcomed as old friends. This was my first experience with a bunch of rowdy Denver Broncos fans and I loved it.
Throughout my travels, I have standout football-watching memories. We’ve watched the Broncos several times in Grand Lake, Colorado. Twice at Pancho & Lefty’s (now Charlie’s Sports Bar & Grill) and once at Sage Brush BBQ & Grill. We’ve spent a lot of birthdays in Grand Lake.
We once watched the game at a tiny bar at a Colorado hot springs destination. The bar doesn’t exist anymore, but we had two of four seats. My mother and father have joined us for Broncos games at various sports bars they didn’t know they had in their Oregon town.
If you like sports, no matter where you go, you’ll find comradery among fellow sports fans. Plus, sports bars (or bars that show sports) aren’t hard to find in Colorado. Sometimes, in other states, it can be trickier, but not around here. If the Broncos are on television you’ll find it on a screen somewhere, even a lot of breweries now have televisions. In Parker, Colorado, we once watched the game at Downhill Brewery.
The point is, that sports brings us together, and I love it. Go Broncos! Football season starts in one week (September 7, 2023). My team is drafted and I am ready.